Murdered and missing aboriginal women in Manitoba were honoured by families, friends and others as part of a national day of remembrance on Friday.

Canadians rallied in more than 200 locations across the country at Sisters in Spirit rallies, organized every year by the Native Women's Association of Canada.

In Winnipeg, bouquets of flowers representing the province's missing and murdered women were laid out on the front steps of the Manitoba legislature.

Organizer Hilda Anderson-Pyrz, who lost her sister, Dawn Anderson, two years ago, says organizing the event is helping her heal.

"I know that personally I could never bring my sister back, but [through] engaging in events and activities like this, I could bring awareness and help other families cope with what they're going through as well," she told CBC News.

Anderson-Pyrz said the vigil is for everyone, not just indigenous people or the families and friends of those who are missing or murdered.

"If anybody's abusing women, then it's not only an aboriginal issue it becomes, like, an issue of the human race," she said.

Brenda Osborne, whose daughter, Claudette, has been missing since 2008, attended another event that took place Friday at the Indian and Metis Friendship Centre.

"We want to put that point across that they are still missing and we still want them home and we still have hope," Osborne said.

On Parliament Hill, Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo warned that Canada is facing a "grave" human rights crisis.